Besides doing yoga and giving back, one of the interesting aspects of Karma Yoga Denton, is our mission to unite the yoga community, studios included! Each month we will feature an instructor from a local studio, so you can learn more about the diverse and unique options our wonderful little city has to offer. Our Guest Instructor this month is Serena Jetelina, and she is currently an instructor at The Yoga Hut. Get to know a little more about Serena and her life on and off the mat in our monthly Q&A, and join her at Audacity Brew House on Saturday June 27th! All proceeds from this class will go to support Serve Denton.
KYD: When did you first start practicing yoga? Why?
Serena: Over ten years ago a broken heart led me to a yoga studio. I didn’t know why, I just went.
KYD: What is an example of how has yoga impacted your life?
Serena: That class was the first time I ever allowed myself to feel emotional pain without judging it or wanting it to go away. Without knowing it, I connected to my breath for probably the first meaningful time in my life, and moved pain out of my body. I felt a sense of peace at the end of class that has kept me coming back to my mat over and over.
KYD: Do you have a favorite style of yoga? Do you stick to this style or incorporate different styles into your practice and teaching?
Serena: For my initial 200 hour teacher training, I studied with Ana Forrest, the amazing being behind Forrest Yoga. This style of yoga changed my entire outlook on pretty much everything I thought I knew about yoga, and challenged much of what I thought I knew about myself. I mainly teach this style, though I do incorporate other elements into my class from time to time.
KYD: What is your favorite pose to practice? Why?
Serena: My favorite pose is a pranayama practice – Uddiyana Bandha. Nothing connects me to my power center more. Also, it’s a great lower back massage.
KYD: Do you practice or teach with music? If so, what does a typical playlist look like?
Serena: I make special playlists for private group lessons if they request it. But in a normal class, the breath of my students is the best music possible.
KYD: As a teacher or student, have you ever had a bizarre or unexpected experience in a yoga class?
Serena: Is it kinda bizarre that I haven’t?
KYD: When you aren't on your mat or sharing yoga with others, what other activities do you enjoy?
Serena: I’m an Aquarius, and my interests are myriad. Currently I’m focusing my energy on obtaining an astrology certification, riding my bicycle further, and making tinctures.
KYD: Where would we most likely run into you around Denton?
Serena: The Yoga Hut and The Rudra Center, eating at The Cupboard, or playing board games at my friend Brad’s house.
KYD: Our topic for the month is mantras, do you have a favorite quote or mantra you come back to in your practice?
Serena:The past few weeks I’ve been in transition, so I’m focusing on a root mantra (and wearing lots of red): “I am safe. I am grounded. I am centered. I trust more and fear less.”
You can also catch a class from Serena at The Yoga Hut every Wednesday from 9:30- 10:45AM!